A serendipitous series of events led to the creation of Elevate Digital Optics.
Owned and operated by independent optometrists, Dallas-based Elevate Digital Optics (EDO) opened its doors last year to produce custom digital lenses after essentially rescuing the lab from moving overseas.
When EGMA, LLC decided to abandon plans to expand into the U.S. market to produce Rodenstock and in-house lenses, it left behind new equipment by Schneider Optical Machines and a newly constructed 22,000-square foot building.
Placed under stress due to expansion in both the Middle East and African marketplace, EGMA’s owner Poya Eghterafi decided investing in those markets would be more prudent than investing here. It was Alan Yuster (EGMA’s vice president of operations at the time and now EDO president) who suggested Eghterafi sell the building and equipment rather than ship it all back to Dubai.
Yuster found buyers—a mix of members of Texas-based First Eye Care buying group and independent optometrists—and EDO was born.
“Literally in four weeks, I had a handshake, which in a few weeks turned into a letter of intent and a few weeks after that led to the purchase of the facility,” he said. “It was a fortunate mix of needs because they had a fully functional lab in 30 days.”
EDO has 23 employees and produces 125 jobs per day—all surfaced, hardcoated, AR-coated and edged. EDO’s lens portfolio includes Rodenstock, Shaw, Shamir, HOYA and Seiko, along with Eyeonx, its house brand of digital lenses composed of four lines (100, 300, 500 and 700 series) that range from traditional/non-compensated to fully compensated and individualized; single vision and bifocal/trifocal to progressives.
EDO chief executive officer Blake Hughes, an optometrist at First Eye Care in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, said Eyeonx has enabled his practice to provide patients with great quality lenses at more reasonable prices.
“When we were tasked with the understanding of changing our habit from great quality branded product to house branded product, it didn’t take us long before we were extremely pleased and happy with the quality,” he said.
EDO also produces sun prescription lenses and offers a variety of coatings (from both Schneider and some co-developed with Rodenstock), such as scratch-resistant, mirrored, super hydrophobic and UV protective over 400nm.
EDO uses Schneider’s Modulo line with plans to purchase and install a blockless edger from MEI by the end of this year. Its lab management system is by Ocuco Innovations.
“We are an independent laboratory, not a corporate lab, and therefore by just the nature of independent labs we feel that we’re more close to our accounts and wish to serve them in a more personal and direct manner,” Yuster said. “Because we are ECP-driven, we will react very quickly to the demands of not only our shareholders but also to the accounts that have the same background.”
WHERE TO FIND IT: Elevate Digital Optics, Inc. 844.346.2552 • MyEDOLab.com